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It is not enough to makeup your verse of plain words
Horace 65 - 8 B.C.E
Roman satirist

Writing assignment series

Expository essays

When writing your expository essay, follow these eight basic steps:

  • Select a topic:
    Be sure the topic is narrow enough to make it manageable within the space of an essay
  • Write a thesis sentence:
    Be sure the thesis statement(or sentence) expresses a controlling idea that is neither too broad nor too specific to be developed effectively
  • Select a method of development:
    Check through all the methods before you finally settle on the one
    which will best serve your thesis:
  • definition | example | compare and contrast |
    cause and effect | classification | process analysis

  • Organize the essay:
    Begin by listing the major divisions which the body paragraphs in your essay will discuss; then fill in the primary supports that each body paragraph of the essay will contain
  • Write topic sentences for the body paragraphs of the essay:
    For each body paragraph, furnish a topic sentence that directly relates to the thesis sentence
  • Write the body paragraphs of the essay:
    Each body paragraph should develop the primary support covered in that paragraph's topic sentence
  • Furnish a paragraph of introduction:
    An introductory paragraph should state the thesis of the essay, introduce the divisions in the body paragraphs of the essay, and gain the interest of the reader
  • Write a paragraph of conclusion:
    • Restate the thesis and divisions of the essay
    • Bring the essay to an appropriate and effective close
    • Avoid digressing into new issues
Writing assignments

Writing for the "Web" | The five-paragraph essay | Essays for a literature class |
Expository essays | Persuasive essays | Position papers | Open book exams |
Essay Exams | White papers | Lab reports/scientific papers |
Research proposals | Elements of a Research Paper
Seven stages of writing assignments | "Lessons learned"

Source: Ida Masters Hollowell, James A. Levernier, A. Franklin Parks, Structuring Paragraphs: A Guide to Effective Writing. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's,1986.